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THUMBS UP: It was nice to have Tippi Hedren come back to New Ulm on Thursday night to talk about her acting career and her work in rescuing and providing sanctuary for animals.

Hedren, born in New Ulm and raised in Lafayette, went on to fame and fortune, starring in “The Birds” and “Marnie” for Alfred Hitchcock. Her attention these days is focused on providing a safe, cageless home for exotic animals at her California sanctuary, Sahambala.

Thanks to the Traverse Des Sioux Library System for making Hedren’s talk in New Ulm possible.

700 for Mertz

THUMBS UP: Congratulations to Bob Mertz, softball coach at Cathedral High School, who recorded his 700th win on Thursday as the Greyhounds swept a doubleheader against Springfield.

Mertz has won games with teams that featured big stars like pitcher Stef Klaviter, who pitched the team to three straight state titles in the 1990s, but reaching the 700 mark shows Mertz has had more than an occasional superstar going for him. In high school sports, the talent level may rise and fall over the years, but Mertz has managed to develop his players and coach them to success year after year.

Way to go, Greyhounds, and Coach Bob Mertz.

Teachers of the Year

THUMBS UP: Congratulations are in order as well for the District 88 Teachers of the Year, who were recognized Wednesday night at the annual District Employee Appreciation Banquet.

Kindergarten teacher Julie Petersen, Washington Elementary special needs teacher Geri Groebner, and NUHS science teacher Sharon Holzer were honored as Teachers of the Year. We salute them for their dedication and enthusiasm in a very important and demanding job which too often goes unrecognized.

Congratulations as well to Paster Ric Jacobsen at Oakwood United Methodist, recognized as the Outstanding Lay Educator; and honored support people, including bus driver Fred Groebner, technology director Michael Milbourn, and “New Eagle” honoree Douglas Rakoczy.

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